Born in a small Texas Hill Country town, Lora Lee discovered the magic of reading at an early age and began inventing stories before she could write down the words. Her preacher daddy, as well as her mama, encouraged her love of books by making certain she always had a library card each time they moved to a new town. Lora Lee and her husband live in West Michigan where they enjoy being near their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Bringing in the Thieves is the first book in Lora Lee’s Joyful Noise Mysteries series. Set in the colorful world of choirs, glee clubs and the gentle shenanigans of a close-knit church community, the series stars single mom, Frankie Lou McMasters—a preacher’s daughter who fell from grace—and her devoted band of misfit teenage singers. Add a wrongly-convicted ex-con with a golden voice, a baptism gone wrong and suddenly Frankie Lou finds herself vocalizing deep in the heart of murder.
Get Lost in a Story Readers, I'm pleased to introduce to you, Lora Lee!
DONNELL: Lora, welcome! This sounds like my kind of read. Good people wronged and who have experienced plenty of conflict. So I just gotta know. Can you sing? What qualifies you to write a choir/glee club series?
LORA: Thanks so much for having me, Donnell. I’m excited and a little anxious about my first venture into the cozy mystery genre. Very different from writing straight romance. About singing – from high school choir and church choir, I’ve always loved music and singing. Before I married, our church choir was privileged to sing with the choir led by George Beverly Shea at a service led by the Rev. Billy Graham. That was an exciting experience. As years have passed, my voice has lost its quality, but I still love to listen to all kinds of music.
DONNELL: Without giving too much away, can you tell us in what way Frankie Lou falls from grace? How much is she like Lora Lee, and in what ways is she different?
LORA: Frankie Lou had some of the same social restrictions as I had growing up. Being a preacher’s kid labeled her as different to many of her peers in school. Frankie Lou made some bad choices and ran off with town bad boy ‘cause her daddy held the shotgun. Lora Lee didn’t make that mistake although she did move a long way from her Texas hometown when she married. No shotguns involved, though.
DONNELL: It’s well known I’m a hopeless romantic, so will Frankie Lou have a love interest in the series?
LORA: Oh, she sure will, but that part of the story barely gets off the ground in the first book. She’s still working on putting some shine on her personal halo and that doesn’t come easy.
DONNELL: Would you call this a cozy, mystery or . . . .?
LORA: I’d definitely call it cozy. There is a body and a murder to solve, but the book has some quirky characters and humorous moments. I hope readers find it a fun read.
DONNELL: I love research. I learn the most interesting things. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned doing research?
LORA: I love research, too, Donnell. Most interesting research experience I’ve had was the ten-week citizens’ police academy course I took. Those classes gave me an up-close-and-personal look at police procedures, both inside the headquarters and on the streets. The overnight ride-along held a few surprises, too, like the arrest and transport of a drunk driver to jail. And the high-speed ride through the city with lights flashing and sirens screaming ramped up my heartbeat, for sure. Oh, and did I mention my granddaddy was City Marshal back in the fifties in the little town where I grew up. Things have changed a lot since then.
DONNELL: Name the most interesting or unusual thing you have in your closet?
LORA: My closet, huh? Well, right now there are some hidden Christmas gifts for the family. Not so unusual, I suppose, at this time of year. Some cowboy boots I don’t wear since I don’t ride anymore. Nothing very interesting, I’m afraid.
LORA, NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. Thank you again, Donnell, for having me on Get Lost in a Story. It’s been fun and you’ve asked some great questions. Now I’d like to ask the readers one. Do you read many cozy mysteries and if so, what do you look for when you shop for one? Be sure and leave your email address when you comment if you want to be included in the drawing for an ebook of Bringing in the Thieves.
CONTACT LINKS. Website: http://lora-lee.com/